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Hiring A Pregnant Applicant

(Loic Venance/Getty Images)

(Loic Venance/Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - If a company finds out that an applicant is pregnant, does it still have to offer her the job?

Marissa Meyer had two big pieces of news the same week last month. She announced that she is pregnant with her first child, and a few days later she announced that she’d gotten the job of CEO of Yahoo!

Meyer’s skills and experience are unique enough that Yahoo! believed that pregnant or not, she was worth the $70 million pricetag in salary, bonus and stock she’ll earn. But the question for the rest of us pleebs is: absent a one-in-a-million applicant, does a company have to hire an applicant if she’s pregnant?

The answer is no, a company doesn’t have to hire an applicant BECAUSE she’s pregnant – she doesn’t have to be treated better than any other applicant. But it can’t treat her worse, either. So if it would have made her the offer, it can’t refuse to offer her the job because she’s pregnant.

Now, once she’s there, she doesn’t automatically have to get maternity leave so she may be fired if she can’t come back to work. But if the company has a short term disability policy, it has to treat her the same way it would treat others who have short term disabilities that aren’t pregnancy related.

So the good and bad news is that by law, pregnant applicants should be treated the same as all other applicants. Yahoo!